The 50 Best Workout Songs

Music Lists
The 50 Best Workout Songs

Staying healthy and in shape necessitates a strong soundtrack. Music helps keep motivation high and heart-rates up when working out. Sometimes the lyrics take precedence in doing so and sometimes it’s just the bass drop, sick beat, or metal riff that can transform a workout from a mundane obligation to an endorphin-inducing celebration. Taking all elements and genres into consideration, here are the 50 best workout songs.

50. Major Lazer, “Pon De Floor”
Whether you prefer the dancehall beats or the drum line-style snare hits, the percussion in Major Lazer’s “Pon De Floor” will keep you moving. But if zany and zippy synths aren’t necessarily your jam at all, check out more pop-minded tracks like Chiddy Bang’s “Shooter” and Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls),” which both sample this track. —Hilary Saunders

49. Calvin Harris, “Sweet Nothing”
With vocals from Florence Welch, Scottish dance-pop producer Calvin Harris hits the right tempo on his 2012 EDM hit “Sweet Nothing.” But, if you’re feeling particularly aggressive, go for the Tiësto remix. — Paste Staff

48. Run the Jewels, “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)”
El-P and Killer Mike’s standout track from Run the Jewels 2 isn’t just an insidious ode to civil disobedience—it’s a metronome designed for pumping iron. A hydraulic synth in the background not only keeps the beat, but gauges when to initiate and flex. But for those taking a more anaerobic approach, Zach de la Rocha’s sampled patter—that literally says “running” in various starts and sputters—aligns perfectly for a brisk, punishing jog. This track will get you ripped like Rakim Allah in no time while condemning the social injustice engulfing our country. —Sean Edgar

47. Andrew W.K., “Party Til You Puke”
Andrew W.K.  says anything can be a party, even hitting that heavy bag. But don’t work yourself so hard that you puke. That’s not a good workout. — Paste Staff

46. Cake, “The Distance”
How can deadpan vocals come off as so exciting? John McCrea’s no-nonsense delivery—especially in the beginning’s “Reluctantly crouched at the starting line / Engines pumping and thumping in time”—evokes the resolute feeling of gritting one’s teeth and preparing for a race. Add Greg Brown’s driving guitar line, and you’ve got a vigorous song that will impel you to go “the distance” too. —Monica Hunter-Hart

45. Shamir, “On the Regular”
One of the breakthrough tracks of last year, “On the Regular” is the perfect track to run to. With this young genderqueer rapper espousing his own version of normal life in a sweet falsetto, it makes you feel like you’re the baddest around. —Mady Thuyein

44. Fucked Up, “Running on Nothing”
Who needs a personal trainer yelling at you when you can have Damien Abraham screaming, “I kept holding until it tore me apart, a hand thrust in my chest and ripped out my heart.” Just don’t listen to the rest of the lyrics too closely to the lyrics or you might give up lifting…and all hope. — Paste Staff

43. Lupe Fiasco, “Go Go Gadget Flow”
With its reference to the Inspector Gadget TV series and spitfire lyrical delivery, Lupe insights dexterity and speed—two attributes you want in your workouts—in “Go Go Gadget Flow.” Plus, it can’t hurt to hear the word “go” 700 times. — Paste Staff

42. Janelle Monaé featuring Big Boi, “Tightrope”
This is just a great song with a giant hook. For kicks, imagine that’s Janelle up there leading your step class, decked out in her signature white tux. — Paste Staff

41. Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”
Although not necessarily a song with traditional dance floor beats, these English boys offer a tune that will at least make you want to look good. The band’s youthful, frenetic energy and quick strumming make for a strong sprint—one that lasts less than three minutes. —Hilary Saunders

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